Board Member Results 2019
Please join Rhema Media in congratulating the following nominees for being voted to the Rhema Media Board:
- Simon Bilton
- Suzy Aislabie
- Roly Runciman
We look forward to the contributions they will bring to your Christian media ministry.
Current Board Members
Chair Anne McLaren
Anne McLaren is Chair of the Rhema Media Board and the owner of McLaren Brown Media.
She has extensive governance experience across the commercial and not-for-profit sectors.
Anne’s been with Rhema Media for 20+ years both as an interviewer in television & radio and during several appointments to the Rhema Board.
She is a Trustee of the Endeavour Charitable Trust which works with people needing vocational guidance and media training.
Anne is passionate about Rhema Media.
‘I love working with the team at Rhema Media. It’s a privilege to be a part of the growing reach and strategic direction of this Christian ministry.
‘The proven track record of Rhema Media is testimony to the vital role it plays in New Zealand.
‘But what makes Rhema Media so very special is its unique place in New Zealand as the largest Christian media organisation, reaching thousands of homes with messages of hope, love and encouragement,’ she says.
Simon Bilton is the General Manager Group Strategy at Skills organisation. His significant business experience in the public, private and community sectors, strong finance and leadership background, supported by the academic rigour of a doctoral degree, mean that he brings a diverse and thoughtful approach to the Rhema Media Board.
Rhema Media has profoundly impacted Simon and his family through the years. The teachings through Rhema helped him grow personally and allowed him to learn through Scripture in ways that worked for him. The Word For Today has lifted him up and challenged him. Simon feels it is time to give back to the ministry through the skills he has been blessed with. He says, ‘The challenges that Rhema Media faces in an increasingly atheistic society are important to me. I want to be true to God’s command and help where I can.’
Simon has been a member of Papakura East Presbyterian for many years, serving on several committees. He sits on the board of Presbyterian Development Society and spent several years as its CEO. He has also served as chairman of a primary school establishment board and Manurewa AFC.
Simon is married with three adult children, all still living at home. Outside of work, he enjoys family, personal fitness, playing football and house renovations. He believes in lifelong learning, enjoys reading business research articles and following Type I diabetes research trends as he is a diabetic. Church and spending time with his family are important to him.
Alan is currently the IT Support Analyst for Waipuna Hospice in Tauranga. He has a background in management, missions, administration and governance. He has been an elected Tauranga City Councillor, assisted various not-for-profit organisations, and has been on the Rhema Media Board for 19 of the last 21 years.
Alan says, ‘Christian radio was really important when I first became a Christian and I believe it is just as relevant and important today; if not more so in the time we are currently living. Rhema Media is the salt and light to a New Zealand in need. I believe that, with God’s guiding hand, the most important chapters in the story of Rhema Media are still to be written.’
Alan has a teenage son at tertiary training and has been married to Jane for 31 years. They are both actively involved with their local church. Alan has also just become a Justice of the Peace.
Andrew has been Chief Executive of Rhema Media since December 2016; he was previously General Manager – Operations. He has been with Rhema Media since 2002 and has been a Board member since 2004. Andrew has extensive experience in the governance and day-to-day running of all of Rhema Media’s broadcast networks on many levels.
Andrew has a background in Telecommunication, Operational Management and has significant experience in Board Governance in the not-for-profit sector, having served on a number of boards over the last 15 years.
Andrew says, "It's a great privilege to be part of the team both at the operational and governance levels and to see the impact Rhema Media's various media have in people's lives. As Chief Executive, it is an honour to lead this ministry to effectively reach people with messages that communicate the hope, grace, faith and love there is in a relationship with Jesus across this nation we are all part of."
Andrew and his wife Anna have four children and are both actively involved in their community through their local church.
Married for over 15 years, Andy has three children and is currently COO of Fergus Software, a rapidly growing SaaS company producing workflow management for tradesmen around the world.
As an engineer and then a producer involved in media, he’s developed his career working at some of the largest media brands on the planet (BBC, CanWest/TV3, MTV, Disney), often working at technology’s cutting edge interfacing between traditional and digital entertainment.
His career in media started as a creative writer at Rhema Media, where he experienced first-hand the way the organisation challenges, educates and changes people’s lives. Having also worked at More FM, Auckland’s student radio bFM, 1ZB, Juice TV and various other production, digital and media companies, he has a good understanding of the media landscape in New Zealand and beyond.
While on the board Andy hopes to help encourage the organisation forward into the content- rich digital world to grow the Rhema Media vision of ‘making it possible for all people in New Zealand to access content that encourages a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.’
Deputy Chair Hal Short
Hal is a pioneer of Rhema Media, with over forty years involvement in Christian media.
With a clear call from the Lord to this ministry, he began with establishing Rhema in Wellington before moving to Auckland to repeat the work there, while at the same time working with founder Dick Berry and others to establish Christian radio in other cities across the country. A vice president, he became President on the death of Richard Berry and led the day-to-day operations until he handed that baton on to John Fabrin. He continued as Chairman of the Rhema Media Board until his retirement.
Hal was also a co-founder of UCB International, set up to duplicate what the Lord had brought about in New Zealand in other nations. Currently the UCB group affiliates can be found in every continent, many of which Hal has had an active part in their establishment. Hal was also instrumental in bring the daily devotional The Word For Today to New Zealand.
Hal is married to Annette, and these days they have time to enjoy family and friends.
Psalm 96:2-3 has been his impetus: 'Each day proclaim the good news that He saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does.'
Hannah Jeffries joined the Rhema Media Board in August 2017. A friend who she has a great deal of respect for suggested that she stand for the Board. She took the suggestion seriously, prayerfully considering what she had to bring to benefit the organisation and whether it was where God wanted her to be. She decided to run and trust that God’s will would be achieved either way through the votes of the members.
Since being on the Board, Hannah has had the opportunity to meet people who have been involved with the ministry for a significant length of time and she appreciates how dedicated they have been, and still are, in their support of Rhema Media. She particularly appreciates all the people around the country who get together to pray for the ministry. Hannah says, ‘I think it can be easy to forget the strong foundation and continued spiritual support and protection that prayer provides.’
Hannah is a property consultant. She married Daniel in February 2018. They attend Te Rautini Church in Hamilton and Daniel is currently doing post graduate study at Waikato University. Hannah says they are sadly both children of divorce and are working to create a strong foundation in their marriage to, with God’s grace, guard their marriage.
When there’s good weather Hannah and Daniel enjoy going on little adventures around the Waikato. They are also cultivating their own little vege garden and worm farm. When the weather’s not so good, Hannah enjoys reading and knitting.
Roly was a Rhema listener for many years before joining the technical department at Rhema Media in 2000. He served as Projects Manager at Rhema Media for 15 years before retiring. He says, ‘Rhema Media has been a large part of my life and still is.’ He brings 45 years of extensive radio and television technical experience in New Zealand and other Melanesian and Pacific Islands to the board.
He also has extensive business experience, having run his own businesses and working with two major corporates at management level. He has served on several boards over the years. He is passionate about the Gospel and is excited about being on a board that is passionate about broadcasting the Gospel.
Roly says, ‘One of my “go to” verses in the Bible is, “so then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Reaching our nation with the Word of God may be the only spiritual input many listeners get, so it is a real privilege for Rhema Media to do so.’
Roly and Gail have two married children and five grandchildren. They are both very actively involved in leadership positions at Botany Life Community Church. Much of Roly’s time is invested in heading up ‘In The Gap Ministries,’ helping other ministries in New Zealand and the Pacific with all things technical and IT, and he enjoys various hobbies from stamp collecting to amateur radio.
Suzanne is an education professional with over 30 years of experience. She is a moderator for the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and teaches secondary students at Marotiri School. She also spent seven years serving on pastoral staff as Children’s and Family Coordinator for her faith family.
Suzanne enjoys inspiring others with the Word of God, something she feels privileged to get to do daily, in her work. She is passionate about helping others develop a Christian worldview, to navigate their way through this life in a God honouring way.
Suzanne has served faithfully on three boards of large not-for-profit organisations and has well developed skills in human resources and change management.
Suzanne says, "I am so grateful to God for all that He has sown into my life through the excellent teaching I have heard on Rhema over the last 30 years. I believe Rhema is a significant blessing of God to the nation and personally it was a huge blessing to me as a young mum. As a result I have always been passionate about encouraging others to listen to Rhema, support its ministry in prayer and also financially.”
Suzanne is married to Steve and they have six adult children scattered around New Zealand and Australia. She enjoys competitive horse riding, pilates and bush walking with friends and family. Authentic fellowship with her faith family has always been extremely important to her